US-Led Coalition Takes Raqqa's Great Mosque Away From ISIS

Flickr Commons/Beshr Abdulhadi

In a long fight punctuated by moral victories, this may be the biggest yet: The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and Syria announced Monday morning that it had secured the historic Grand Mosque of Raqqa, a "milestone" in the years-long struggle to rout ISIS and take back its de facto capital.

A spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve credited the U.S.'s motley crew of ground allies, the Syrian Democratic Forces, with clearing the mosque on Sep. 2.

Satellite view of the Grand Mosque in Raqqa.Google Maps

"The liberation of this historic landmark is a testimony to the dedication and courage of the SDF as they fight to defeat ISIS in Raqqa," Col. Ryan Dillon said in a press release Sep. 4. "The SDF have made consistent incremental gains in the urban terrain of the city, fighting block by block, and applying increasing pressure on ISIS each day while evacuating civilians along the way.”

Since the U.S.-led campaign against the makeshift ISIS capital began, members of the terror group have left Raqqa in droves. The coalition has dumped historic levels of ordnance in its struggle to fix and destroy ISIS fighters and now faces a difficult struggle to find and wipe out remaining resisters, who have resorted to tunnels, among other tactics, to avoid the onslaught.

Dillon said advancing forces this weekend had evacuated "thousands of civilians" and took measures to limit damage to the mosque itself, which ISIS had captured in 2014, after making Raqqa its beachhead for a global Islamic caliphate that never was.

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Karl Munson pilots a 26-foot boat while Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Diaz keeps an eye on a boarding team who is inspecting a 79-foot shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of New Orleans, La., on April 27, 2005

Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.

Read More Show Less
REUTERS/Carlos Barria

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.

Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"

Read More Show Less

A low-flying C-17 gave Nashville residents a fright on Friday when the aircraft made several unannounced passes over the city's bustling downtown.

Read More Show Less
George W. Bush/Instagram

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.

In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.

Read More Show Less